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Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, was due to chair a meeting of the Government’s crisis committee Cobra in response to the bad weather and power cuts.

a short break from hell again, and all our own fawlt

"Bit Early, aren't you?" As a cheery welcome to the establishment in which you are paying to spend the night, this lacks a certain charm. I did once have a less friendly welcome to a hotel, a few years ago, but only when I missed my way one night, ending up at the house next door and being chased off by the enraged occupant. "f--- off, you stupid old bag!" he screamed. Bit rich, really, from a malodorous, fat fiftysomething in a string vest, but that's men for you.

Double life, singular fiction

THE SECRET LIFE OF WILKIE COLLINS by William M Clarke, Alan Sutton Publishing pounds 9.99

The history of popular culture; 10 Basil Brush

Har, har, har, har, har, har, har...boom boom. OK, so the stuffed fox who enlivened the odd Saturday tea-time in the mid-Seventies isn't going to make anybody's list of the 500 most significant figures of the 20th century, but in a week in which Sooty has been sold for more than a million, it's worth asking why Basil, an infinitely more entertaining puppet, is hanging around on street corners selling copies of the Big Issue.

Letter: Latin lover

Sir: Paul Vallely implies that those who want Latin and incense in their worship are intransigent conservatives. I like Latin in my worship and English too if it is good English. I also like the use of the ancient symbol of worship called incense. Basil Hume said "every liturgy should have dignity, order, beauty, an awareness of the presence of God." Latin and incense help to provide these along with other languages and sacramentals. Liking them has nothing to do with being conservative or progressive.

A prayer for marriage

LOUISE JURY

Two owners banned from all tracks for 10 years

Two owners, Patricia Hamilton and Jim McDonald, were yesterday warned off for 10 years each by the Jockey Club for their involvement with Pretty Average, a winner last year at Thirsk, who was found to have run in unlicensed races under the name of Short'n Sweet.

LETTER: The Ven Basil Wingfield Digby

Basil Wingfield Digby came of a Dorset family whose ancestors had lived in and around Sherborne for some four centuries, and which has for generations provided clergy to the Church of England.

Letter: In defence of King Leopold

From Mr John Cairns

Obituary: Basil Easterbrook

Basil Easterbrook's name was rarely seen on the national stage, but for those millions of readers who avidly followed football and cricket through the pages of the many publications of Kemsley and then Thomson Regional Newspapers he was the supreme authority.

LUCY PARKER

Having bonded the City desk of the Daily Telegraph, Lucy Parker has now turned her attention to her brother's public relations outfit. Last Sunday the human resources consultant put Alan Parker and his Brunswick agency through some soul-searching at London's Basil Hotel - doubtless to get them drawing on inner reserves for the long defence of their besieged client, Forte.

Maxwell director drops severance claim

Basil Brookes, former finance director of Maxwell Communication Corporation, the main public company in the Maxwell group, is dropping a pounds 300,000 lawsuit against company administrators appointed from Price Waterhouse. One of the administrators said an out-of-court settlement was reached, but declined to give details. The lawsuit was filed following a ruling in March by the House of Lords that administrators and receivers who kept employees on for more than 14 days after firms went bust were liable for severance pay. MCC collapsed after Robert Maxwell died in November 1991.

Letter: Chairman's brief

From Mr Basil Dewing

Playing for the game, not the medals

From Mr Basil Kentish

PM's destiny poised on a knife edge

Key defections deal late blow to Major campaign
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Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity

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Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
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The author PD James, who died on 27 November 2014
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Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94

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Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
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View of champagne glasses at a beach bar set up along the Croisette during the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 17, 2013
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Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
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Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
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Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)

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